Lewis: Saints touch down at The Greenbrier

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Eric Fichtner, from Albany, N.Y., and his boys Jackson, 4, and Ty, 6, along with Judy Harris, wave as the Saints football team departs in busses from the Lewisburg, W.Va., airport Tuesday afternoon.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — When a football team flies into New Orleans for, say, the Sugar Bowl, there’s inevitably a brass band along with a host of dignitaries to greet them on the tarmac. Here on Tuesday — no such luck. Not for the Saints — or at least… Continue reading →

Saints roster moves: Bunkley released after failing physical; Colston, Byrd and Foster on physically unable to perform list

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints nose tackle Brodrick Bunkley (77) chases Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) during the second quarter Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, at the Mercedes Benz Superdome.

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — The New Orleans Saints made a handful of roster moves before arriving at training camp Tuesday. The team released defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley after he failed a physical and placed receiver Marques Colston, safety Jairus Byrd and defensive tackle Glenn Foster on the physically unable to perform list. Cornerback… Continue reading →

Saints release defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, place Marques Colston, Jairus Byrd on 'Physically Unable to Perform' list

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS. Saints DT Brodrick Bunkley (77) fights off a block during the Saints' first outdoor practice in 2012 training camp in Metairie, La.

. The Saints made a handful of roster moves before departing for training camp on Tuesday. The team released defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley due to a failed physical and placed wide receiver Marques Colston, safety Jairus Byrd, and defensive tackle Glenn Foster on the physically unable to perform list. Cornerback Brian Dixon was placed on the non-football injury list. Center Michael… Continue reading →

Saints officially release Junior Galette, sign two players

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette (93) reacts as the final minutes tick away in the 23-15 loss in a NFL NFC divisional football playoff game between the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Seahaw

. The New Orleans Saints signed veteran tight end Kevin Brock and undrafted free agent Cole Manhart on Monday, replacing Junior Galette and backup center Mike Brewster, who was waived with an injury designation. Brock, 29, is a Shreveport native who has 10 catches for 84 yards in… Continue reading →

Saints notebook: Keenan Lewis surprised by Junior Galette’s exit, hopes another team will ‘give him an opportunity’

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis (28) is injured on the play as he breaks up a pass intended for San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) during the second quarter Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014,

That the New Orleans Saints decided to cut ties with pass rusher Junior Galette surprised Keenan Lewis. The veteran cornerback said he was on a plane when the news broke Friday. Lewis, who spent one of his final days before leaving for training camp by hosting hundreds of kids at the Keenan Lewis Foundation youth football… Continue reading →

New Orleans Saints training camp 2015: Fortunes of the team lie among a series of what-ifs

THe New Orleans Saints mascot "Sir Saint" is seen in the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

Last summer, the Saints headed to West Virginia with dreams of reaching the Super Bowl. They didn’t even make the playoffs. Now, after an offseason full of turnover, they begin training camp with new objectives, new faces ... and many questions. -- IF Nick Toon, Seantavius Jones or Brandon Coleman emerge into viable playmakers, the Saints… Continue reading →

Junior Galette says he declined Saints’ attempt to put him on IR

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette (93) and New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94), top right, watch the final seconds tick away as the Saints lose 34-27 to the Baltimore Ravens in a NFL football game in the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.

Before the New Orleans Saints decided they would release Junior Galette on Friday, the pass rusher said the team attempted to place him on injured reserve. The move wouldn’t have been to stash Galette for a season. Instead, he said the Saints wanted to place him on IR and then release him once healthy.… Continue reading →

Analysis: Revamped roster should give Saints fans hope after that frustrating 2014 season

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

Take a look at the Saints’ roster. There’s reason for optimism entering training camp, which kicks off with the team’s first practice Thursday at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. This isn’t the same team that gradually cut off its own limbs last season and staggered to a 7-9 finish. The defense should be better, there are… Continue reading →

Saints to cut ties with pass-rusher Junior Galette after a pair of violent incidents involving women

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette practices at the Saints training facility in Metairie on Thursday, May 28, 2015.

With less than a week before training camp opens, the New Orleans Saints will release outside linebacker Junior Galette, The Advocate confirmed through multiple sources Friday, cutting ties with a player who has been linked to two violent incidents involving women this offseason. Galette, who signed a four-year, $41.5 million deal last September, told reporters in June that… Continue reading →

Underhill: Saints make the right move by releasing Junior Galette

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette (93) and New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Kasim Edebali (91) work on technique at practice at the Saints Training Facility during OTAs in Metairie.

One of the hardest terrains for teams to navigate is figuring out the balance between trouble and talent. Junior Galette found out Friday that he was on the wrong side of that balance. Though it likely wasn’t an easy one to make, the Saints made the right decision by opting to release the outside linebacker, who recently became… Continue reading →

Four thoughts on the Junior Galette release: Big blow for Saints; team made mistake

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Junior Galette (93) and New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94), top right, watch the final seconds tick away as the Saints lose 34-27 to the Baltimore Ravens in a NFL football game in the Superdome in New Orleans, La. Monday, Nov. 24, 2014.

1. This is a big blow. Make no mistake about it. The Saints are going to feel the loss of Galette on the field. He was the best pass rusher on the team and now New Orleans is going to have to fill the void one way or another. That’s not an easy loss to overcome.… Continue reading →

Saints training camp preview: Five undrafted rookies who could contend for roster spots

The Saints aren’t afraid of giving a player a chance, regardless of his pedigree or where he comes from. Last season, New Orleans turned to Brian Dixon, an undrafted player, at cornerback over the decorated Champ Bailey. Pass rusher Junior Galette, running back Khiry Robinson, guard Tim Lelito and tight end Josh Hill also got their start… Continue reading →

Veteran tight end Jermaine Gresham passes on Saints, signs deal with Arizona Cardinals

Veteran tight end Jermaine Gresham, who reportedly left New Orleans with an offer after a visit last month, has signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals, the NFC West team announced Friday. Gresham, who caught 62 passes for 460 yards and five touchdowns last season, had been targeted as a potential veteran addition to a position group that is somewhat… Continue reading →

Saints place three rookies on the non-football injury list

. New Orleans placed outside linebacker Davis Tull, running back Marcus Murphy and offensive lineman Antonio Johnson on the non-football injury list on Wednesday. The Saints’ rookie class reported to Metairie Wednesday for training camp. From there, the team will fly to West Virginia on Tuesday, go through reporting day on Wednesday… Continue reading →

Saints training camp preview: 3 players looking to bounce back on offense

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston (12) converts a fourth down against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The 49ers won in overtime, 27-24.

The New Orleans Saints offense is filled with more unknowns than players seeking redemption. But the ability of those who are on such a mission to bounce back will play a big role in determining if the Saints can continue to be one of the more productive offenses in the NFL or a team that… Continue reading →

Saints training camp preview: Three players headline group entering contract years

Advocate file photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Saints defensive end Akiem Hicks is hoping for a big season to make him a sought-after free agent next year.

A contract year can bring the best out of a player. Facing the uncertainty of free agency and an opportunity to play into a big deal, some players dig deep and find more in themselves than they ever have before. Others struggle to deal with the pressure New Orleans… Continue reading →

Saints coach Sean Payton talks about the two things he loves about the team's training camp at The Greenbrier

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Coach Sean Payton walks the practice field as day two of 2015 mini camp in Metairie Wednesday got underway.

. Only a week remains before the New Orleans Saints pile onto the planes and make their second straight trip to the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.V. for training camp. Saints coach Sean Payton loves the Greenbrier. And he’s got two clear reasons. “Number one, it provides the temperatures that we feel like are most ideal to train in,” Payton… Continue reading →

Saints training camp preview: Three defensive players looking to bounce back

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Saints strong safety Kenny Vaccaro practices earlier this year at the Saints training facility. Vaccaro and the defense will need to bounce back from last season's disappointing performance for the Saints to get back on top.

For the Saints to put the bitter taste of last year’s finish behind them, they’ll need a handful of players to step up and perform up to expectations. That was often an issue last year. While many players might have played over their heads during the 2013 season, several others regressed and failed to… Continue reading →

Saints training camp preview: Five position battles to watch

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Nick Toon prepares for the catch as the Saints took to the field for day two of 2015 mini camp in Metairie Wednesday,

Position battles are the lifeblood of any NFL team’s training camp. By virtue of a dramatic offseason overhaul designed to upgrade the talent on defense, the New Orleans Saints will have more tightly contested races than most when training camp opens in West Virginia in 10 days. With that in mind, in The Advocate’s second installment… Continue reading →

Saints training camp preview: Six players on the roster bubble

Advocate staff photo by Rusty Costanza -- New Orleans Saints quarterback, Ryan Griffin, throws a pass during practice at Saints Camp in Metairie.

The New Orleans Saints spent the offseason retooling their roster and finding ways to create better competition across the board. The idea behind the process was to make players feel uncomfortable and create an atmosphere where players are fighting for every opportunity, snap or job. While this approach isn’t unique to this season, the level of competition at… Continue reading →

Why Saints running back Khiry Robinson might be most under-appreciated player on New Orleans roster

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  New Orleans Saints running back Khiry Robinson (29) scores the game winning touchdown in overtime against the Bucs in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday, October 5, 2014.

. Khiry Robinson might be the most under-appreciated player on the New Orleans Saints’ roster. Viewed by many as the third banana behind Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller as the team prepares to enter training camp, the third-year running back might possess the ability to force a conversation about finding ways to get him the ball more often next season. Robinson’s… Continue reading →

Former Saints coach Aaron Kromer put on leave amid arrest

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Bills President Russ Brandon said offensive line coach Aaron Kromer was put on paid administrative leave after being accused of punching a boy in the face for using his beach chairs. Brandon said the team is following the league’s personal conduct policy, putting Kromer, a former Saints assistant, on leave while investigating… Continue reading →

Former Saints player Steve Gleason throws his support behind Ice Bucket Challenge 2015 in August

Former Saints player Steve Gleason

. Former Saints special teams ace Steve Gleason is back in for the 2015 edition of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. Gleason released a statement and a video on his Team Gleason website, throwing support behind the second edition of the ice bucket challenge, which went viral and raised well more than $100 million for organizations that combat the… Continue reading →

Garrett Grayson might return to Manning Passing Academy in future

Garrett Grayson threw 32 touchdown passes last year, a Colorado State single-season record. (Associated Press)

Garrett Grayson got a text from Archie Manning earlier this week, sent from somewhere on the Nicholls State campus. “Missing you here.” Grayson knew exactly what Manning meant. A year ago, the Saints’ new quarterback was a camper trying to make a name for himself among the list of big names from bigger schools. “I’m coming back next year,” Grayson replied. Grayson,… Continue reading →

Saints coach Sean Payton roaming Manning Passing Academy fields as son enrolls in camp

A familiar face is roaming the Manning Passing Academy practice fields at Nicholls State this weekend. Sean Payton’s son, Connor, is headed into his freshman year of high school, and the Saints coach decided to sign up his young receiver/H-back for some work under the watchful eyes of the Mannings and their fleet of counselors. Archie Manning has been trying to get… Continue reading →

The Saints make no selections in Thursday's NFL supplemental draft

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Mickey Loomis at his press conference at the Saints Training Center in Metairie on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

. For the 34th straight season, the NFL’s supplemental draft has come and gone without the involvement of the New Orleans Saints. Only one player, Clemson tackle Isaiah Battle, was selected overall, the first player taken in the supplemental draft since the Cleveland Browns selected Josh Gordon in 2012. New Orleans had little need for a player at Battle’s position after… Continue reading →

Former Saints, Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler dies at 69

Former Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints quarterback Ken Stable (Associated Press)

. Ken Stabler, the former NFL quarterback who spent the final three years of his career in New Orleans, has died at the age of 69 in Gulfport, Miss., according to a statement from Stabler’s family on his Facebook page. In those three seasons with the Saints, Stabler completed 326 of 570 passes for 3,670 yards, 17 touchdowns and… Continue reading →

Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan: 'We did a lot of talking last year and got our butts kicked ... I know we’ll be great, but we’ll just prove it this year'

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan

Three weeks ago, the Saints wrapped up their final minicamp workout and scattered into summer break, cautiously optimistic about the offseason changes made to their overhauled defense. But there were no big, sweeping predictions, and there likely will be none three weeks from now when New Orleans opens training camp in West Virginia. Big expectations… Continue reading →

Saints’ David Hawthorne back to familiar middle linebacker role, but position battle with talented rookie brewing

New Orleans Saints outside linebacker David Hawthorne (57) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, in Chicago.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

David Hawthorne’s new role in the New Orleans defense is anything but. Hawthorne, who has shifted to middle linebacker this spring and summer to compete at the spot formerly occupied by Curtis Lofton, is back to where his career began. Now, all Hawthorne has to do to stay in that role is… Continue reading →

Why receiver Nick Toon’s window of opportunity looks wide open in Saints offense

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Nick Toon prepares for the catch as the Saints took to the field for day two of 2015 mini camp in Metairie Wednesday,

Nick Toon has never entered an NFL offseason with this much opportunity. Buried on the depth chart for three seasons, Toon finds himself staring at a wide-open path to playing time, cleared by the offseason departures of Kenny Stills, Jimmy Graham and Robert Meacham, all as Toon enters the final season of the four-year rookie deal he signed… Continue reading →

Missed our Saints stories on Andrus Peat, Stephone Anthony, John Jenkins during holiday weekend? Don't worry; find them here

. For the moment, the NFL is smack in the middle of its quietest period, a time frame signaled by the fireworks, family and grilled or slow-cooked meat most enjoyed over the weekend. Twenty-three days remain until the Saints report for camp in West Virginia and the news starts hitting hot and heavy. For the moment, though, The Advocate is… Continue reading →

Rookie Hau’oli Kikaha has plenty to learn, but Saints ‘love the quickness, the passion, the way he plays the game’

Former Washington player Hau'oli Kikaha sprints as he works out at Washington's pro day Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Hau’oli Kikaha is no workout warrior. Kikaha, who ran through positional drills at the NFL combine but declined to do any of the eyeball-catching physical tests, posted pedestrian numbers at his pro day. None of his numbers, from the 40-yard dash to the bench press to the jumps, would have put him at the front of the line… Continue reading →

His first step — getting on the field — complete, Saints rookie Andrus Peat focuses on his footwork to get where he needs to go

New Orleans Saints tackle Andrus Peat (75) runs through drills during NFL football minicamp camp at the team's training facility in Metairie, La., Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Andrus Peat took a little longer than most to take his first real steps in the NFL. Thanks to an NFL rule that doesn’t allow rookies to begin workouts with their teams until their school’s academic year has finished, Peat missed the first two organized team activity sessions and participated in only about half of the… Continue reading →

John Jenkins feels ‘ready to take off’ in third year with Saints

The Saints' John Jenkins (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

John Jenkins believes his time has come. The former third-round pick has spent two seasons backing up Brodrick Bunkley, stepping into the starting lineup for long stretches when Bunkley went down with an injury. Now, the big nose tackle feels like he’s capable of taking a big step forward in his third season in New… Continue reading →

Saints QB Drew Brees happy for Anthony Davis' new deal with Pelicans, tells story of wife painting unibrow on son

. Drew Brees is perfectly comfortable with the fact that he now has company at the top of the New Orleans sports pantheon. Brees, who might be the Pelicans’ most famous fan, opened an appearance on ESPN Baton Rouge’s morning show, Culotta & The Prince, by heaping praise on the Pelicans’ new $145 million man, Anthony Davis. A fixture… Continue reading →